Editors’ Briefing: This Week in Political Economy (May 4–May 12)

A whistleblower alleges fraud in the audits of Silicon Valley companies; AT&T acknowledges that hiring Michael Cohen was a “bad mistake”; new analysis finds that Amazon has not been consistent with the stated selection criteria for HQ2; and a majority of Americans back a constitutional amendment that would outlaw Citizens United. This week in political economy.   

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Glen Weyl: “The Very Structure of Capitalism Is Inherently Monopolistic”

In an interview with ProMarket, Glen Weyl, co-author of the wildly ambitious (and wildly controversial) new book Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, talks about antitrust, data as labor, and why he thinks the free market system is not actually free. “The entire business community has been speaking with one voice in the common interest of capital as a class,” he says.  

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Data Workers of the World, Unite!

With solutions to the threats of digital monopolies currently looking unlikely to come from the state, law and economics scholars Eric Posner and Glen Weyl, authors of the forthcoming book Radical Markets, propose looking to the power of organized labor. A data workers’ (that is, social media users’) labor union, they argue, could help check the offenses of the digital platforms.  

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Former Italian PM and European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti: Why Antitrust Enforcement Is “More Vigorous” in Europe Than in the US

Why is Europe so much more vigorous than the US when it comes to antitrust enforcement? In an interview with ProMarket, Monti, who served as the EU’s Competition Commissioner between 1999 and 2004, offers a possible explanation: American antitrust’s sensitivity to election outcomes and industry lobbying.  

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DOJ Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim: “American Antitrust Agencies Likely Have Made More Enforcement Mistakes Than Any of Their Foreign Counterparts”

In a keynote address at the Stigler Center’s Antitrust and Competition: Digital Platforms and Concentration conference, the US Department of Justice’s Assistant Attorney General said antitrust enforcers “should be open and receptive to empirical evidence that companies in digital markets may be engaging in predatory pricing or other exclusionary conduct to drive out competition and cause long-run harm to consumers” and said his own thinking on data has changed. 

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